The Sword of God
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
~ Ephesians 6:12
One lesson that I’ve re-learned through reading through the entire Bible is the utter necessity of staying grounded in the Word. Time in God’s word is no more optional for spiritual health than drinking water is to physical health. I am in a fight, we all are. Our enemy is relentless, constantly looking for an opportunity to destroy us. Our only protection is the armor that God provides:
“Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray with the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. ” (Ephesians 5:13-16)
Though all of the armor is important, I note that our only offensive weapon is the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God. When the enemy comes with lies, nipping at our heals with doubt, fear and affliction, we need an offensive weapon to ward him off. That offensive weapon is the Bible, the word of God. We need to be in it daily, marinating in it, meditating on it, committing it to memory and hiding it in our hearts. Otherwise, we will find ourselves unarmed for a battle that we’re in whether we choose it or not.
When I read this, in the process of reading through the Bible, I was struck with God’s relentless pursuit of me. Even when I let my guard down, setting aside my sword for earthly pursuits and leaving myself vulnerable to attack, he comes after me. Sometimes it’s a harsh pursuit marked with discipline, other times a tender reminder that I am missed. But his pursuit is every bit as relentless as the enemy’s advances.
In everything I do, may I carry God’s Word in the forefront of my mind. Amen.
~ Stephen Peterson